Tag Archives: Amnesty International

Mysterious Man Buys ISIS Sex Slaves, Reunites Them With Family

ISIS Sex Slave Reunited

A Yazidi ISIS captive is reunited with her father after being purchased as a sex slave.

BY SAMUEL SMITH , CP REPORTER

As thousands of women and girls are being raped, abused and victimized as part of the Islamic State’s sex slave operation in Iraq and Syria, one Iraqi man is buying ISIS sex slaves in order to free and reunite them with their families.

In the Islamic State’s sex slave market, captured religious minority women, girls and even babies are sold to militants and supporters willing to dish out good money for a new jihadi bride or woman they just want to abuse and hand off to their buddies when they are finished.

Although many find it unethical to participate in the Islamic State’s human trafficking market that helps fund the terrorist organization that has killed thousands, one unnamed Iraqi man is purchasing ISIS’s sex slaves not for physical pleasure but to give them freedom.

As Walid Shoebat reports, an Iraqi man, who remains nameless, disguises himself as a human trafficking dealer in order to “infiltrate” the Islamic State and get the militants to sell him sex slaves. But in purchasing sex slaves, the man finds a way to reunite them with their fathers, husbands, and the rest of their family.

The report cites a video from the Iraqi news site Rudaw, which can be viewed through the YouTube channel StreamDZ, that shows one of the yazidi sex slaves the man purchased finally being reunited with her father. In the video, the woman and her father hug and cry tears of happiness as they are finally reunited.

For many yazidi women taken as sex slaves by ISIS, there is no guarantee that they will ever be reunited with their fathers, husbands or brothers.

The woman in the Rudaw video was fortunate that her father was still living, because ISIS killed most of the yazidi men upon capturing them last summer when they seized most the Yazidi territory. Upon seizing a Yazidi town, the militants captured the yazidi people, separated the males from the females, hauled the females away in the back of large trucks as their male family members were typically shot execution style.

While some of the boys were allegedly spared their lives and forced to start training to become militants, many of the women and girls, who were not already taken as spoils of war by ISIS militants involved in seizing the region, were taken away to the Syrian strongholds where they were to be sold as sex slaves.

Upon arriving in the stronghold, the women were held captive in tight, overpopulated rooms, until they were sold to militants.

After being sold off, the fate of the women vary. The woman in the Rudaw video was lucky because she was sold to someone who reunited her with her father. Others, however, are not so fortunate as they are usually forced to convert to Islam, marry a militant and sometimes change their names.

According to a 15-year-old Yazidi taken by ISIS as a sex slave, she was sold to a militant who tried to force her to convert to Islam and change her name to Abeer, according to The Telegraph. But she found a way to escape from her sex slavery and avoid changing her name or converting.

She drugged tea that she served to the ISIS fighter that purchased her and escaped out the door as he was unconscious.

“He told me, ‘I’m going to change your name to Abeer, so your mother doesn’t recognize you,'” the 15-year-old Yazidi girl explained. “You’ll become Muslim, then I will marry you. But I refused to become a Muslim, that’s why I fled.”

Some sex slaves are not fortunate enough to escape. Some ISIS sex slaves have taken up the practice of committing suicide just so they don’t have to endure the daily abuses they suffer.

One unnamed former ISIS captive explained to Amnesty International how one sex slave named Jilan took her own life.

“We were 21 girls in one room, two of them were very young, 10 to 12 years. One day they were given clothes that looked like dance costumes and were told to bathe and wear those clothes. Jilan killed herself in the bathroom,” the woman said. “She cut her wrists and hanged herself. She was beautiful. I think she knew that she was going to be taken away to a man and that is why she killed herself.”

Most ISIS sex slaves are Yazidi girls, though there are Muslims and Christians, too. The pricing of the girls seems to favor pedophilia, as the most expensive slaves are only one-year-old. As for the conditions these ISIS sex slaves experience, they are so horrific that one Yazidi girl wanted the West to bomb her brothel with her in it. She couldn’t stand being raped over thirty times all “before lunchtime.”

 

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Princeton Professor, Others Offer to Take 1,000 Lashes for Saudi Blogger Raif Badawi

Robert P . George, Raif Badawi

Conservative Princeton University professor and vice chairman of the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom, Robert P. George (l) and blogger Raif Badawi (r).

BY LEONARDO BLAIR , CP REPORTER

Conservative Princeton University professor and vice chairman of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom Robert P. George, along with six other advocates, have offered to take 100 lashes each for Saudi Arabian blogger Raif Badawi who was sentenced to 1,000 lashes for insulting his country’s clerics.

Badawi, who was sentenced to 10 years in prison and 1,000 lashes got his first 50 lashes by cane in a public square just over a week ago. A news release from Amnesty International explained that a second round of flogging for the blogger was postponed last Friday because his wounds from the first flogging hadn’t healed.

“Not only does this postponement on health grounds expose the utter brutality of this punishment, it underlines its outrageous inhumanity. The notion that Raif Badawi must be allowed to heal so that he can suffer this cruel punishment again and again is macabre and outrageous. Flogging should not be carried out under any circumstances,” said Said Boumedouha, Amnesty International’s deputy director for the Middle East and North Africa Program in the release.

In an email to The Christian Post Wednesday, Professor George confirmed that he and other advocates have offered to take the lashes for Badawi.

“Together with six colleagues on the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, I sent a letter to the Saudi Ambassador to the U.S. calling on the Saudi government to stop the horrific torture of Raif Badawi — an advocate of religious freedom and freedom of expression in the Saudi Kingdom,” wrote George.

“If the Saudi government refuses, we each asked to take 100 of Mr. Badawi’s lashes so that we could suffer with him. The seven of us include Republicans and Democrats, liberals and conservatives, Christians, Jews, and a Muslim,” he added.

Offering to take Badawi’s lashes along with George are: Mary Ann Glendon, member of the Board, Becket Fund for Religious Liberty; M. Zuhdi Jasser, president, American Islamic Forum for Democracy; Daniel Mark assistant professor, Department of Political Science, Villanova University; Hannah Rosenthal, CEO, Milwaukee Jewish Federation; Eric Schwartz, dean, Humphrey School of Public Affairs, University of Minnesota and Katrina Lantos Swett, president of Lantos Foundation for Human Rights & Justice.

“Compassion, a virtue honored in Islam as well as in Christianity, Judaism, and other faiths, is defined as ‘suffering with another.’ We are persons of different faiths, yet we are united in a sense of obligation to condemn and resist injustice and to suffer with its victims, if need be. We therefore make the following request. If your government will not remit the punishment of Raif Badawi, we respectfully ask that you permit each of us to take 100 of the lashes that would be given to him. We would rather share in his victimization than stand by and watch him being cruelly tortured. If your government does not see fit to stop this from happening, we are prepared to present ourselves to receive our share of Mr. Badawi’s unjust punishment,” note the group in the letter shared with CP.

According to Amnesty International’s Boumedouha: “Flogging is prohibited under international law along with other forms of corporal punishment. His flogging appears to have been postponed for now but there is no way of knowing whether Saudi Arabia’s authorities will fully comply with the doctor’s advice. Raif Badawi is still at immediate risk.”

 

Raped and Forced to Give Blood to Jihadi Captors

Yazidi sex slave held by ISIS with her baby reveals how they forced girls to give transfusions to keep wounded fighters alive

  • First Yazidi sex slave to bravely reveal her identity exposes horror of ISIS 
  • Hamshe describes being held captive by jihadis with her young baby boy 
  • The 19-year-old was seized after her husband was murdered by militants 
  • She says: ‘They forced Yazidi girls to give blood to wounded fighters’  
  • BBC Arabic investigation finds pioneering activist tracking hundreds of kidnapped victims 

By LARISA BROWN FOR MAILONLINE

Sex slave: Hamshe, a Yazidi girl from Iraq, is only 19 yet has suffered enough torment for a lifetime, having been held captive as a sex slave by Isis militants for 28 days with her baby before she escaped

Sex slave: Hamshe, a Yazidi girl from Iraq, is only 19 yet has suffered enough torment for a lifetime, having been held captive as a sex slave by Isis militants for 28 days with her baby before she escaped

A pregnant teenager who was captured by Islamic State militants has revealed how girls are being forced to give blood transfusions to keep their attackers alive.

Hamshe – who is understood to be the first Yazidi slave to reveal her identity – has told of how sickening Islamist jihadists have been using the blood of captured women and children for wounded fighters in the battlefield.

The 19-year-old, who also has a baby with her husband who is believed to have been murdered by militants, was held captive for 28 days before she escaped.

She said: ‘When each of them took a Yazidi girl, one of them took me to his house and locked me inside a room and told me ‘I will not give you food or water if you refuse to marry me’.’

‘They forced the Yazidi girls to donate blood to IS wounded fighters. Which God allows these acts?’

Hamshe's escape from captivity with Isis was dramatic: 'One night my baby was crying from thirst. I knocked at the door and saw all the guards sleeping outside. I took a bottle of water from them and I ran away with my baby and walked for four hours'

Hamshe’s escape from captivity with Isis was dramatic: ‘One night my baby was crying from thirst. I knocked at the door and saw all the guards sleeping outside. I took a bottle of water from them and I ran away with my baby and walked for four hours’

Dressed in all black and wearing a headscarf while slumped on a dirty floor in Iraq, she described how she managed to run away from her captors while holding her baby.

‘One night my baby was crying from thirst. I knocked at the door and saw all the guards sleeping outside. I took a bottle of water from them and I ran away with my baby and walked for four hours’, she said.

She said she came across an Arab man who took her into his home and looked after her for three days. She added: ‘Then they drove me to a Peshmerga checkpoint in Barda Rash. I was at the checkpoint for 7 hours. Then my brother came and took me back home.’

Her mother added: ‘I couldn’t imagine that my daughter will come back. We thank God for that. Our family is destroyed. The Yazidi community has been destroyed.

‘This tragedy has done us enough damage for the rest of our lives.’

Speaking of the moment she was captured by IS militants and moved to a different location in Iraq, Hamshe added: ‘I can never forget when they separated men and women from each other. It was very painful to witness women and girls being taken as a war spoils.

‘Each IS fighter was holding the hand of a Yazidi girl and took her for himself. It was harder than facing death.’

Her plight – and that of many others – was revealed in a new documentary, Slaves of the Caliphate, which screened on BBC Arabic.

Horrific memories: Hamshe told campaigner Nareen Shammo, left, how Isis forced Yazidi girls to donate blood to IS wounded fighters. Hamshe asked: 'Which God allows these acts?'

Horrific memories: Hamshe told campaigner Nareen Shammo, left, how Isis forced Yazidi girls to donate blood to IS wounded fighters. Hamshe asked: ‘Which God allows these acts?’

Activist Nareen Shammo has been keeping tracks of hundreds of kidnapped women and has worked tirelessly to locate them and negotiate their return. She said of the blood transfusions: ‘I work on the Yazidi cases every day.

‘This is the first time I’ve heard such a thing, they even take our girls and old women’s blood. They use it for their wounded IS fighters.’

It is the latest example of the depraved lengths Islamist jihadists are willing to go to in the name of Islam.

The horror of Isis fighters taking Yazidi sex slaves was revealed in an Amnesty International report last December. It found that Islamic State is kidnapping thousands of women and girls as young as 12. They are then traded in open markets as sex slaves for as little as £16 each.

Too young: The BBC documentary about sex slaves being held by Isis in Iraq and Syria shows how girls in refugee camps, like this girl above, are vulnerable to attack 

Too young: The BBC documentary about sex slaves being held by Isis in Iraq and Syria shows how girls in refugee camps, like this girl above, are vulnerable to attack 

After being abducted from their homes, they are sold as playthings to the highest bidder, usually IS commanders, or gifted to the ‘bravest’ fighters as rewards for their services to jihad.

Ms Shammo, who has come under constant death threats, has been using Facebook to identify young captured slaves and communicates with them on their mobiles, which they hide from the militants.

At one point during the footage, a militant seizes the phone of a girl she is trying to rescue and adds: ‘The truth is they’re in IS hands, they will convert to Islam and live under IS protection.’

Another victim, who was captured by fighters at the age of 21, said she had been told to agree to be a gift for Abu Bakir Al Baghdadi, the head of IS, but she had refused.

She said: ‘I saw everything, I saw girls being raped, I witnessed their torture. I saw babies separated from their mothers. Some children were 5 and 6 years old when they were taken from their families.

‘They killed our fathers, uncles and everyone. There is no horror I haven’t experienced. I lost my senses.

‘There is nothing worse than rape.

‘One of the leaders took a 13-year-old girl to his house, locked the room and told his children she is a Yazidi girl who converted to Islam, that he will teach her how to pray and read the Koran.

‘In fact he was raping her during that time. She told me she was raped there for three days.’

Refugee families: This little boy lives in a refugee camp where no woman or girl is safe from the attentions of Isis

Refugee families: This little boy lives in a refugee camp where no woman or girl is safe from the attentions of Isis

The Islamic State believe that captive Yazidi women are like property, exchanging them in some cases for as much as $10,000 each.

Over 300 women have been released since August 2014 but it is estimated that over 2600 women remain captive.

The Yazidi religious minority community in Iraq says 3,500 of its women and girls are still being held by the so-called Islamic State (IS), many being used as sex slaves.

Escaped slaves have told how they are traded in vile markets where men barter for their bodies.

According to a document, obtained by website Iraqinews.com, just £27 will fetch a Yazidi or Christian woman aged between 40 and 50.

Chillingly, a child between one and nine will fetch four times that.

One escaped slave told the BBC: ‘They put us up for sale. Many groups of fighters came to buy. We couldn’t sleep properly because new groups came at all hours,’ she says, almost whispering.

Human tragedy: Displaced people from the minority Yazidi sect, fleeing violence from forces loyal to the Islamic State in Sinjar town, walked towards the Syrian border last August 11, 2014

Human tragedy: Displaced people from the minority Yazidi sect, fleeing violence from forces loyal to the Islamic State in Sinjar town, walked towards the Syrian border last August 11, 2014

Living in misery: A woman collects water in a Yazidi refugee camp in Iraq where Isis target vulnerable girls as young as 12 to become sex slaves 

Living in misery: A woman collects water in a Yazidi refugee camp in Iraq where Isis target vulnerable girls as young as 12 to become sex slaves 

‘Sometimes they brought girls back who had been beaten, injured. When they recovered, they were sold again. Eventually, they took all the girls. The women were left behind [and sold last].

‘Whatever we did, crying, begging, it made no difference. An Islamic State sheikh took the money. It wasn’t much. A fighter showed us 15,000 Iraqi dinars [$13; £8] and said: ‘This is your price.”

Last December, a pamphlet revealed how IS has given out orders on the proper use of women as slaves.

The extremist group’s Department of Research and Fatwas (religious edicts) issued a document with the chillingly matter-of-fact title: ‘Questions and Answers on Taking Captives and Slaves’.

Posted on a jihadist web forum, and allegedly given out after prayers in Mosul, Iraq, it says Christians, Jews and Yazidi women can all be taken as slaves.

Women can be bought, sold, and given as gifts; they can be disposed of as property if a fighter dies.

A mother's nightmare: Hamshe's mother told the BBC that 'the Yazidi community has been destroyed. This tragedy has done us enough damage for the rest of our lives.'

A mother’s nightmare: Hamshe’s mother told the BBC that ‘the Yazidi community has been destroyed. This tragedy has done us enough damage for the rest of our lives.’

The pamphlet’s Q&A format includes the following:

Question: Is it allowed to have intercourse with a female captive immediately after taking possession of her? Answer: If she is a virgin, her master can have intercourse with her immediately after taking possession. But if she is not, you must make sure she is not pregnant.

Question: Is it allowed to have intercourse with a female slave who has not reached puberty? Answer: You may have intercourse with a female slave who hasn’t reached puberty if she is fit for intercourse. However, if she is not fit for intercourse, it is enough to enjoy her without.

Chilling drive: This is the view towards the Dera Bwn refugee camp in Duhok, northern Iraq 

Chilling drive: This is the view towards the Dera Bwn refugee camp in Duhok, northern Iraq 

IS has even recorded the practice in its official publication, Daqib. It states:

‘After capture, the Yazidi women and children were then divided according to Sharia [Islamic law] amongst the fighters of Islamic State who participated in the Sinjar operations…

‘Before Satan sows doubt among the weak-minded and weak-hearted, remember that enslaving the kuffa [infidels] and taking their women as concubines is a firmly-established aspect of Sharia.’

A spokesman for Amnesty has said: ‘Despite worldwide condemnation, the IS has shown no intention of putting an end to the war crimes and crimes against humanity which its fighters have been committing on a large scale, including against the Iraqi women and girls they have abducted and continue to hold captive.

‘Any party, in Iraq or outside, with any influence over the IS should use that influence to secure the release of these captives.

‘A small proportion of those abducted have managed to escape IS captivity, many after having been subjected to acts of unspeakable brutality.

‘But the survivors interviewed by Amnesty International are not receiving the help and support they desperately need.’

Displaced people from the minority Yazidi sect, fleeing violence from forces loyal to the Islamic State in Sinjar town, walk towards the Syrian border, on the outskirts of Sinjar mountain, near the Syrian border town of Elierbeh of Al-Hasakah Governorate August 11, 2014

Displaced people from the minority Yazidi sect, fleeing violence from forces loyal to the Islamic State in Sinjar town, walk towards the Syrian border, on the outskirts of Sinjar mountain, near the Syrian border town of Elierbeh of Al-Hasakah Governorate August 11, 2014

Forced conversions: Islamic State releases a video purportedly of Iraq's minority Yazidis taking part in a conversion ritual at an unknown location

Forced conversions: Islamic State releases a video purportedly of Iraq’s minority Yazidis taking part in a conversion ritual at an unknown location

 

 

 

Saudi Blogger Publicly Flogged for Insulting Islam

By AYA BATRAWY Associated Press

A Saudi blogger convicted of insulting Islam was brought after Friday prayers to a public square in the port city of Jiddah and flogged 50 times before hundreds of spectators, a witness to the lashing said.

The witness said Raif Badawi’s feet and hands were shackled during the flogging but his face was visible. He remained silent and did not cry out, said the witness, who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity fearing government reprisal.

Badawi was sentenced last May to 10 years in prison and 1,000 lashes. He had criticized Saudi Arabia’s powerful clerics on a liberal blog he founded. The blog has since been shut down. He was also ordered to pay a fine of 1 million riyals or about $266,600.

Rights activists say Saudi authorities are using Badawi’s case as a warning to others who think to criticize the kingdom’s powerful religious establishment from which the ruling family partly derives its authority.

London-based Amnesty International said he would receive 50 lashes once a week for 20 weeks. Saudi Arabia’s close ally, the United States, had called on authorities to cancel the punishment.

Despite international pleas for his release, Badawi, a father of three, was brought from prison by bus to the public square on Friday and flogged on the back in front of a crowd that had just finished midday prayers at a nearby mosque. His face was visible and, throughout the flogging, he clenched his eyes and remained silent, said the witness.

The witness, who also has close knowledge of the case, said the lashing lasted about 15 minutes.

Badawi has been held since mid-2012 after he founded the Free Saudi Liberals blog. He used the blog to criticize the kingdom’s influential clerics who follow a strict and ultraconservative interpretation of Islam known as Wahhabism, which originated in Saudi Arabia.

He was originally sentenced in 2013 to seven years in prison and 600 lashes in relation to the charges, but after an appeal, the judge stiffened the punishment. Following his arrest, his wife and children left the kingdom for Canada.

Rights groups argue that the case against Badawi is part of a wider crackdown on freedom of speech and dissent in Saudi Arabia since the 2011 Arab Spring uprisings. Criticism of clerics is seen as a red line because of their prestige in the kingdom, as well as their influential role in supporting government policies.

According to Amnesty, the charges against Badawi mention his failure to remove articles by other people on his website. He was also accused in court of ridiculing Saudi Arabia’s morality police.

In a statement after the flogging, Amnesty called the flogging a “vicious act of cruelty” and said that Badawi’s “only ‘crime’ was to exercise his right to freedom of expression by setting up a website for public discussion.”

State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki has called the punishment an “inhumane” response to someone exercising his right to freedom of expression and religion.

In New York, Farhan Haq, deputy spokesman for the U.N. secretary-general, told reporters on Friday that the U.N. human rights office was “very concerned about the flogging” and that it has previously raised concerns about harsh sentences in Saudi Arabia for human rights defenders.

Syria: Children “Tortured as Family Listened”

Syrians check the identities of the bodies of victims from an airstrike on the Maadi neighbourhood of the northern Syrian cit...

Syrians check the identities of the bodies of victims from an airstrike on the Maadi neighbourhood of the northern Syrian cit…

SYRIAN children as young as eight have been flogged and tortured by fighters affiliated to al-Qa’ida while their relatives, held in neighboring cells, listened, according to testimonies presented by Amnesty International.

The human rights group also claims in a report published yesterday that judges and jailors in sharia courts in northern Syria wore explosive belts so that they would be ready to blow themselves up with their captives, should they be attacked. The testimonies told, among other things, of adults being given electric shocks.

Amnesty attributes the abuses to the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS), which is affiliated to al-Qa’ida and now controls significant parts of northern Syria in its battle against the regime of President Bashar al-Assad. Once ISIS seized control of an area, they imposed strict sharia rules and – according to the testimonies – inflicted horrific acts of violence on locals.

The report calls on Turkey to refuse shelter to ISIS fighters and stop the flow of arms over their mutual border. It also urges the Gulf states to stop funding the group. One former prisoner interviewed by Amnesty after his release “spoke of being present in a cell with a father as (he) heard his 13-year-old son apparently being tortured but was powerless to act”.

Another witness described how a teenager, believed to be 13 years old, was flogged 40 times a day after being accused of stealing a motorcycle. Yet another witness recalls hearing the beating of another boy: “I counted 94 lashes falling on this child and then I could count no more.”

Children were not held separately from adults, and so witnessed some of the routine abuse. Typically, prisoners were forced to adopt the “scorpion” position – crouching with one hand stretched over the shoulder and handcuffed to the second hand. “In one case, a former detainee told Amnesty International he was tortured with electric shocks and beaten with a cable while suspended with only one foot touching the floor,” said the report. Others were ordered to drink diesel or up to six litres of cooking oil.

The abuses are alleged to have happened between May and November this year, and the testimonies of the 10 former detainees paint a stark picture of a group determined to cow the local population into submission. After their floggings, the detainees were released, and fled to Turkey. Most judges wore masks, as did the group’s soldiers, who sometimes snatched their victims in daylight in the suburbs of Aleppo. Some trials, including at least one for adultery, ended in a swift execution.

Part of the torture was psychological. Prisoners were told they would be killed and thrown into the Euphrates River.

“I’ll make you food for the fishes,” was a frequent threat against inmates, the report claims.

 

Saudi Activist Sentenced to 300 Lashes, 4 Years in Prison After Calling for a Constitutional Monarchy

Saudi's King Abdullah (AFP Photo / HO / SPA)

Saudi’s King Abdullah

A Saudi Arabian political activist was sentenced to four years in prison, 300 lashes, and a travel ban after calling for a constitutional monarchy. He is the fourth member of the Saudi Civil and Political Rights Association (ACPRA) to be jailed this year.

ACPRA’s Omar al-Saed, 24, was jailed after the organization called for democracy and made statements criticizing the country’s ruling family over its human rights record, Reuters reported.

Al-Saed berated the motivations behind his imprisonment via the ACPRA website in a statement released by the group on Friday: “I am the proud prisoner Omar Mohammed al-Saed. I read out to you the motives and causes of my imprisonment: my hatred of injustice, the fabrication of pain and misery, taking advantage of passive attitudes, treating them as if they were fools, and denying them their livelihoods for brutal personal ambition,” he said.

Al-Saed was not allowed legal representation at the secret hearing in which he received his sentence, according to an ACPRA statement. The judge denied that the session had been kept secret, but al-Saed rebutted that for a session to be public, it must be announced prior to its taking place so that proper representatives are able to attend and people can bear witness to its proceedings.

This unjust sentence is an honor and pride to Omar al-Saed and a disgrace and shame to Judge Issa al-Matrudi,” the activist’s brother, Abdullah al-Saed, tweeted after learning of the sentence late on Thursday.

It’s just another troubling instance of Saudi authorities’ absolute refusal to countenance any activism or criticism of Saudi policies or human rights abuses,” Adam Coogle, a Middle East researcher at Human Rights Watch told Reuters on Sunday.

A spokesman for the country’s Justice Ministry would not confirm the accuracy of the report to the agency.

Media in the country is strictly self-censored. Political dissent or criticism of the dominant Wahhabi (Sunni) royal family is not tolerated, and protests are outlawed.

At the end of November, two Saudi men were arrested for offering ‘free hugs’ to passersby, on the grounds that they were “indulging in exotic practices” and offending public order.

Amnesty International has spoken out against the regime’s oppressive practices, releasing a report titled “Saudi Arabia: Unfulfilled Promises” in October.

The report slammed the country for failing to implement any of the main recommendations they accepted under a previous review by the Human Rights Council (UNHRC) which took place in 2009.

Saudi Arabia remains one of the top five executioners in the world. The death penalty is still applied to a wide range of non-lethal crimes such as adultery, armed robbery, apostasy, drug smuggling, kidnapping, rape, “witchcraft,” and “sorcery.” Since 2009, appeals by the growing human rights movement in the country have been met with harsh measures such as arbitrary arrests, detention without charge or trial, unfair trials, and travel bans, Amnesty stated.